How to overcome procrastination - Organization tips

June 30, 2021
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Procrastination is one of the most paralyzing things one may have to deal with in their lifetime. I should know because If I fail to be deliberate about my life, procrastination becomes my default. Learning to be organized plays a considerable role in curbing procrastination; hence I saw it fit to talk about it in this blog. Procrastination, when unchecked, will hamper progress and productivity, be it in your life or work.

Get stuff done with these 5 organizing tips on overcoming procrastination

Tips on how to overcome procrastination

I find these organizing tips to curb procrastination to be effective. You do not need to execute everything all at once. Picking one or two and implementing the changes will go a long way. That'll be overwhelming and will breed more procrastination instead.

1. How do we eat an elephant?

It may sound cliche, but it helps to eat the elephant one piece at a time. Big tasks or projects are overwhelming when looked at from a birds-eye view. Feelings of inadequacy may kick in, leaving your morale to tackle the tasks at hand low. Every project or task is a total sum of its mini-tasks. Tackle it from that perspective instead. 

For example, one of the things I do not enjoy is window cleaning day - but guess what? Now I have "window cleaning week." Who says I have to do this task all at once? Some tasks are flexible enough to spread through an extended period. Going back to my window example, I always start out intending to clean one or two windows a day. That relieves my anxiety about the task, only to end up completing it within a day or two. 

For us chronic procrastinators, the main challenge is getting started - not the actual work involved with completing a project. Make this part much more pleasant for you, and you will be in for a  surprise.

2. Create time blocks

Time blocking (example)
Download the blank template here

I cannot emphasize this often enough. It works splendidly for me. When I'm overwhelmed by procrastination (it happens), I switch to time blocking mode, where I have to account for each and every 15-30 minutes of my time. You can create these blocks the night before and populate them with your to-do list for the next day. The key is to focus only on the allocated task per block, e.g., if you plan to work on a particular project or task between 9-11 am, do nothing at that time and focus only on the task. It may mean switching off notifications and only picking up critical calls.

I apply this principle even in my morning routine.

3. Take advantage of your most productive time.

We all have that time of the day when we are most productive. It could be early in the morning, before most of your colleagues arrive in the office, or that you are an early bird who achieves a lot while the rest of the family is asleep. Figure out the time that works for you and push most of your unpleasant tasks to that time.

4. Manage your time wisely

It may just be that your time is being taken up by menial tasks that leave your mind too drained to focus on what matters the most. Identify these distractions and eliminate them. That might mean not checking emails every five minutes, not answering phone calls, checking voice mail only a couple of times per day, or refraining from checking social media every time you get a notification someone posted something. In other words, focus on the work at hand and block everything not related to that work out of your mind. Then, schedule a time of day when you can take care of this other stuff.

5. Eliminate decision paralysis

Do you have too much on your plate that you can't decide where to start? Decision paralysis does result in procrastination. I gather that not taking action becomes a safe space for the mind. Toss a coin if you must. Eventually, any project that is off your list is a step in the right direction.

I hope these organizing tips on how to overcome procrastination will be useful to you. 

How do you overcome procrastinating?